Italy at the heart of a new Community Conscious Travel campaign

WTTC, IC Bellagio partner on consumer campaign focused on sustainable travel

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) together with IC Bellagio and Members of the private Travel & Tourism sector, have launched a new consumer focussed initiative helping travellers understand how they can discover the world sustainably.

WTTC has joined forces with IC Bellagio on the new campaign, ‘Community Conscious Travel’, that aims to raise awareness and drive action among consumers and communities to maintain the delicate equilibrium between residents’ quality of life, the traveller experience, and the environmental health of popular destinations.

This call to action highlights the positive impact travellers can have by making informed choices, such as exploring destinations during off-peak times, promoting year-round travel, and considering less-crowded, new, and emerging destinations.

Villa Ghirlandaio, nestled amidst the rolling hills of Tuscany | Credit: IC Bellagio/Facebook

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The parties say that by making these choices it will help reduce the strain on local infrastructure and contribute to the long-term sustainability of the communities, businesses, and ecosystems, enjoying a steady flow of visitors throughout the year.

WTTC plans to roll out the campaign in full just before the 2024 northern Summer season, with a strong emphasis on video-based storytelling and spread across the global tourism body’s social media platforms highlighting the enormous benefits that the sector can provide to these destinations and its people.

Italy serves as the first case study for this content-driven initiative, designed to raise awareness and spark conversations about Community Conscious Travel and the positive social impact of responsible tourism.

Travel & Tourism is a powerful force for good. In Italy it contributed nearly €215 billion to the economy and creates nearly three million jobs.

The sector employs more women and young people at entry level than any other. It also offers high skilled roles in AI, finance, engineering and commercial roles.

The campaign demonstrates how both local communities and visitors can benefit from the positive social impact of Travel & Tourism, facilitating sustainable growth for all. This year, the sector is also expected to support nearly 350 million jobs globally, highlighting its significance as an economic powerhouse. In navigating this growth, it is imperative to emphasise effective management practices to ensure sustainable development and flourishing communities.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Our Community Conscious Travel campaign shows how consumers can travel the world while making a positive impact and supporting local communities.

“There have always been very popular tourist sights and it is critical for destinations and local governments to work hand in glove with local communities to manage visitors in a way that benefits everyone.”

Photos courtesy of IC Bellagio

“In Italy, and many other countries around the world, it is often visitors that help keep authentic arts, culture, and crafts alive.”

Andrea Grisdale, IC Bellagio CEO & Founder, said: “Across the spectrum of Travel & Tourism, the significance of people cannot be overstated. They are the lifeblood of this vibrant industry, intrinsic to the experience that travel provides and, ultimately, the economic growth it creates.

“At IC Bellagio we believe that Travel & Tourism is all about the people, not the traveller alone but the communities and the individuals that welcome them.”

“We hope this campaign will draw an even bolder line between these parties and highlight the truly positive and mutually beneficial relationship that can exist when we choose to travel in a more responsible way,” Grisdale said.

Villa dei Sogni on Lake Como | Image credit: IC Bellagio/Facebook

“We are hopeful the local stories will encourage global dialogue, motivating others to share solutions that can be put into action as we pair resident quality of life with the opportunity’s tourism presents.”

The World Travel & Tourism Council is committed to fostering partnerships between the private and public sectors, aimed at advancing sustainable travel practices and pioneering innovative solutions for responsible tourism.

This new campaign with IC Bellagio is part of the wider global tourism body’s efforts to ensure a balanced approach to tourism management, following previous reports on Destination Stewardship and handling destinations’ success.

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